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Committee Hearing on Immigration, Undocumented Protesters Arrested

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In response to being equated with criminals like they were drug dealers, members of the advocacy group NC DREAM team interrupted Rep. Cleveland during a legislative committee panel meeting with business leaders, shouting “I am undocumented, unafraid and unashamed!” Three members were arrested while some onlookers shouted “Go home!”

Lawmakers met with business leaders from construction, agriculture and other industries yesterday on what North Carolina can do in terms of immigration issues surrounding unauthorized workers in the state. (See the video at the end of the post for the video of the full session; clip of the arrest of protesters is above.)

Toeing the line with compliance with federal laws on immigration and the need for workers in their respective fields, many of the business leaders saw the benefits of E-Verify, which was mandated with the passage of “Employers and Local Government Must Use E-Verify” Act H.B. 36 last year (to be fully implemented by 2013 for employers statewide of 25 or more workers).

Addressing lawmakers’ question on what would be some negative effects of taking further measures toward immigration-related policies for businesses, Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA (a national group working to advance immigration reform as it affects businesses and workers), cites “attrition through enforcement.” While supportive of measures like E-Verify, Jacoby says extreme enforcement can lead to harmful effects for the state economy. She cites examples from Alabama, where extreme enforcement led to an exodus of 80,000 documented and undocumented immigrants, and Georgia, where $75 million worth of crops rotted in the fields due to lack of workers.

Jacoby says that N.C. is on the “right path” with E-Verify and should wait until it is fully implemented in 2013 before taking additional measures. She did, however, point to Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, California and Vermont as examples of states that have looked at potential guest worker and worker permit programs to address issues of unauthorized workers. Jacoby also notes that while states cannot implement such programs without federal approval such measures can be a way to let the federal government know their desire to create a legal avenue for a source of workers and the need to fix a currently broken immigration system.

While business leaders took a middle-of-the-way approach to responding to lawmakers, the questions the committee asked were often tinged with anti-immigrant sentiments and peppered with comments that dismiss figures Jacoby cited from a number of consistent studies. Representative George Cleveland from Onslow County went as far as to suggest that increased illegal immigration led to high levels of drug and gun crime, see the full length video of the session below at around the 01:21:00 mark for his initial comment, further expanded at around 01:33:00. (In Arizona, crime rates actually fell during the period 2008-2009, the same period when there was a notion that higher illegal immigration led to higher crime rates in that state.)

The full session-


Video streaming by Ustream

3 Comments

  1. Dave Francis

    March 1, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The Obama administration crushing state sovereignty
    In the battling border state of Arizona where illegal immigration was one of the major voter concerns, the presidential candidates who “drove” the E-Verify issue benefited easily. After last week’s debate, Mitt Romney kept up the momentum and one the prize. Other than Ron Paul, the three have been supporting the national mandatory E-Verify (H.R.2885) through the campaign. But Romney, former Massachusetts Governor in last week’s significant debate made sure the voters knew his statement by emphasizing the strong aspect of the “Legal Workforce Bill” standpoint.

    Currently with people worried about their jobs, it’s not at all astonishing; that exit polling established that Arizona voters were mainly troubled in regards to illegal immigration that had been strongly introduced by Romney, who they recognized as “the mandatory E-Verify candidate.” The poll results should caused every candidate of every party for every office, whether Governor, Mayor or further elected official to consider being the “E-Verify candidate” in their race. While Romney had long been predictable to win Arizona, polling showed his lead was narrowing until last week’s debate performance when promoting federal E-Verify. This has drawn verbal torment from the other side, even though crowing that he would stumble by offering the attributes of this business hiring program.

    But a new national poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research that the Left oriented media to be gibberish. The poll revealed that wide spread majorities of virtually every type of American voter support mandatory E-Verify. It also acknowledged that “the political core” of Independents and Moderates is about as delighted with national E-Verify as Republicans and Conservatives (Tea Party). Reacting to this survey even Democrats and Liberals are not poles apart on this issue.

    Whatever the Liberal Progressives rhetoric might be, the majority of Americans are not racist and the fact that at TEA PARTY chapters you will find a mix of Blacks, White, Hispanic, Asians and people from the Pacific Rim that fully determines the attitude of the American people towards illegal immigration control. More outspoken are people from every religious denomination, race who have entered this country through legal channels and are extremely unsympathetic to those who have jumped the line

    When debating last week, the Moderator tried to tempt Romney into a confrontation of how Hispanics and other minorities saw his immigration enforcement for America.

    Instead of being drawn into the harsh classification of Deportations and the border fence, Romney cleverly replied, “the right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn’t doing. And I will drop those lawsuits on day one. I’ll also complete the fence. I’ll make sure we have enough border patrol agents to secure the fence.
    And I will make sure we have an E-Verify system and require employers to check the documents of workers, and to check E- Verify. And if an employer hires someone that has not gone through E- Verify, they’re going to get sanctioned just like they do for not paying their taxes. You do that, and just as Arizona is finding out, you can stop illegal immigration. It’s time we finally did it.”

    If you really want the facts about the illegal alien occupation, the REAL border fence, Chain Migration, Sanctuary Cities, Deportation, “foothold Babies” the Backdoor Amnesty, Contagious diseases the Vendetta by Eric Holders Department of Justice suing Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina, Indiana and many other problem that is causing Americas unnecessary pain and anguish, then you need to view the uncensored pages, not suppressed by the Leftist media at (Google) AMERICAN PATROL. For information about the dishonesty, profiting in Washington and the state congressional seats of power, check the web pages of the (Google) JUDICIAL WATCH.

    Go read the statistics that in Arizona, Alabama where they are operating policing laws are leaving and the employment rate for citizens and legal residents is rising considerably. Foreign nationals are packing their stuff and turning up in less oppressive states like California and Nevada, with Liberal legislators.

    Does anybody have legitimate excuses for the numbers of American contractors, who have lost their businesses, because their occupational competition has used illegal immigrants at a lower bidding price for jobs? Across the country hundreds of thousands of small businesses have lost their incomes, because in residential construction, such as roofers, drywall installers, painter’s even electricians have used this type of cheap labor? Eventually unable to compete they have even been forced to drop their lawful workers, or make the painful decision of looking for day laborers or lesser skilled foreigners? An awful “Catch 22” situation by years of neglect to enforce immigration laws by uninterested administrations. Farmers and other industries have legally hired, guest workers, but what the general public is unaware of they pay nothing towards hospital visits or the children’s education. That again, is a financial taxpayer’s weight to contend with. States get nothing for these unfunded mandates, as it is a dollar seed that is still growing.

    We can win this battle if we all start a harassment campaign against Lawmakers, senior officials who are supposed to defend this country. The country is drowning in red ink and illegal immigration has roots in this growing problem. As a nations people we should stand with our fellow workers and demand mandatory E-Verify. This will make businesses accountable for using cheap labor and lowering wages, in the name of filling their pockets with your cash, while the U.S. taxpayer are forced to cover the cost of health care, education and the bloated prison system through the courts unfunded mandates. Contact your Senator or House member and insist they not only sponsor mandatory E-Verify, but also the “Birthright citizenship bill.” Both have their place in stringent enforcement.

  2. Jack

    March 2, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I can imagine Native American’s making the same argument about Anglo-Saxon settlers of the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. But in the 19th the Anglos came up with the idea of Manifest Destiny. Essentially it was about Might Makes Right from the Atlantic to the Pacific, at least on the North American continent in those days.

    I can also imagine that someday a politician standing in from of the completed boarder fence challenging the American politic to “tear down this fence.” Like Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  3. Vaishali

    March 15, 2012 at 2:24 am

    It is time to send them all home, we have given amnesty in the past and they still come arcsos our boarders. Send them all back home and tell them there are legitimate channels to come to the United States of America and if they come any way but through the proper channels they will be sent back home once again.I know that there are some businesses that think they have to have illegal immigrants to sustain their businesses and the Republicans are listening to them, I also know that the Democrats are thinking if they are given amnesty once again that they will surely vote for them in the next election cycle.I really do not care what the political reasons are for wanting to give amnesty, I just think they should all be sent home and told that there is only one way to come to this country and that is through a illegal avenue. Put up a fence and shoot to defend the boarder. Provide worker visas if needed but keep track of the people that have received these visas. Make sure they are paying taxes on the money they earn as well as the employers are paying their share of taxes and health care. There are already laws on the books; they just need to be enforced. If the employers are hiring illegal’s then shut down their plants until such time they comply with the laws and send anyone with phony papers back to where they came.